Blog: Building and Construction – Homeowners looking to make renovations!

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    Community Manager
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    Hey everyone,

    Last summer, the government introduced a stamp duty holiday in a bid to boost the property market and support buyers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    As a result of the holiday, the level at which stamp duty was paid was increased to £500,000 for property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This tax break will begin to be phased out, with the starting rate falling to £250,000 from 30th June, before returning to the usual level of £125,000 from the end of September.

    With the stamp duty holiday coming to an end, homeowners may start reconsidering their plans to move, and instead of looking at ways they can expand and improve their current property.

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    Not only this, but throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in home renovations. According to, UK homeowners have spent over £55 billion on renovations since the start of lockdown, while 65% of homeowners said that spending more time at home had inspired them to renovate their properties. A survey by NatWest also revealed that 62% of homeowners would consider re-mortgaging to undertake home improvement projects.

    With homeowners keener than ever to start home renovation projects, it’s important that you’re ready to meet demand. Make sure that your Checkatrade profile is up to date and clearly states the types of projects and tasks you can help with. It’s also worth taking the time to ensure your profile has plenty of good quality before and after photos available so that potential clients can see exactly what you can do.

    We’ve taken a look at some of the rules and regulations that may impact homeowners’ decisions to make household improvements and renovations.

    Updates to Permitted Development Rights
    For homeowners looking to extend their property, planning permission has long been a barrier, particularly when it comes to negotiating objections from neighbours. However, with a new planning law that updates Permitted Development Rights, this could be a thing of the past.

    What is Permitted Development?

    Permitted Development (PD) was introduced to give homeowners the right to carry out certain types of work on their property, without applying for planning permission. This is general planning permission granted by Parliament, rather than specific permission granted by the local planning authority.

    What are the new Permitted Development Rights?
    Changes applied to PDR on 31 August 2020 mean that homeowners are now permitted to construct up to two additional storeys on houses consisting of at least two stories, and one additional storey to one storey dwelling houses. Under the new regulations, new self-contained flats can be created above terraces, offices, and shops, without planning permission.

    These rights also apply to listed buildings. However, if the work will affect the character of a building of special architectural or historic interest, listed building consent will be required.

    These rights don’t apply to:

    • Buildings that were converted to residential use under permitted development rights
    • Conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Broads, national parks, world heritage sites and SSSIs
    • Buildings that were built before 1 July 1948 or after 28 October 2018
    • Houses that have already been extended with the addition of one or more storeys.

    Any development expanding with a PDR will need to comply with certain conditions. For example, any external materials used must be similar to those already in place, and the extension must not include a window in any wall or part of the roof on the side elevation of the property.

    Although planning permission is not required in these instances, an application for prior approval must be made to the local planning authority. Homeowners will also still need to comply with building regulations and consider the impact that their extension will have on their neighbours.

    What do these changes mean for homeowners?
    These changes to PDR mean that it will be far easier for homeowners to renovate and extend their properties, allowing them to expand upwards to add additional space to their home. This opens up a whole host of renovation opportunities and will help growing families create the living space they need.

    We hope this is useful to you so you can advise your clients accordingly.

    Have you seen our new Ask a Trader section on the website yet? You can ask questions to our expert traders and see answers they’ve provided to others. To find out more click here.

    Last edited by Lauren; 01-04-21 at 10:17.
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